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Spear Thistle

Cirsium vulgare

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Cliffs, ditches, farmland, gardens, grassland, heathland, meadows, moorland, mountains, roadsides, sand dunes, scrub, sea cliffs, seaside, wasteland, waterside.

Flower:
֍
Purple, many petals
 
Solitary purple flower with green-tipped spines, up to 4cm. White flowers are rare.
Fruit:
A flat achene (seed) with a fluffy tuft of white hairs attached at one end (a.k.a. the pappus).
Leaves:
Sharp and prickly, dark green, lobed, pinnate leaves. The leaves are alternate along the stems.
Aroma:
Scentless.
Other Names:
Bank Thistle, Bell Thistle, Bird Thistle, Black Thistle, Blue Thistle, Boar Thistle, Bull Thistle, Bur Thistle, Button Thistle, Common Thistle, Donkey Thistle, Fuller's Thistle, Horse Thistle, Plume Thistle, Scotch Thistle, Scottish Thistle.
Frequency (UK):
Abundant  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map